An Octogenarian’s prized home-made collection of garden gnomes and miniature figurines has gone up in smoke.
Police believe arsonists were responsible for a fire that gutted a factory in Titoki St, Otaki, where Arthur Ray, 80, has made gnomes and other garden ornaments for the past 10 years.
Searching through smouldering rubble for charred remains of his precious figurines yesterday, Mr Ray said he could not understand why arsonists would target his hobby and livelihood.
“I cannot see why anyone would have anything against us. I cannot understand why anyone would want to do this to us.”
The fire destroyed his entire collection of about 450 rubber or fibreglass moulds and burnt dozens of garden ornaments, including gnomes and eagles, which had been on display inside the building.
“I lost my wife in May, now this. Words cannot explain it.”
Mr Ray had been making the gnomes from the rented premises for 10 years and did not have contents insurance.
Poor guy. I hope the Gnome haters are caught and are forced to work for him to rebuild everything they destroyed.